Thursday, October 8, 2009


Yesterday afternoon, very close to the end of the day, Julio had an accident. He was already in the bathroom when it happened, so I figured (a) he had waited too long to ask me to go, (b) he was fooling around in the bathroom and underestimated how much he had to go, or (c) he had trouble getting his belt undone and ended up wetting himself. Anyway, I called downstairs and the office called his mother, and because it was so close to the end of the school day, his mother just took him home. There was an awkward period in between when he wouldn't pull up his wet pants and come out of the bathroom, so he simply stayed in there with his pants down, only he wanted to hear the story I was reading, so he kept sticking his head out of the bathroom, which of course caught the attention of some of the girls, who squealed, "Julio has his pants down!" But eventually Mom showed up and I figured that was the end of it.

Today, Julio had another accident. Again, he was already in the bathroom. But this time, he peed all over the bathroom floor. Again, he wouldn't pull up his wet pants and come out of the bathroom, but today, he started wadding up toilet paper and throwing it out of the bathroom. When I confronted him, he flat-out denied it, and then -- maybe in a misguided attempt to get rid of the evidence? -- he stuffed the toilet paper in his mouth and started chewing it.

So now we have the pants-wetting, and the violent and sexual pictures he's been drawing, and the fact that when he gets angry he bangs his head against the wall and says things like, "I'm going to kill myself." Last year, when he was in first grade, he scrawled a racial slur on the hand of the only African-American child in his class. And every day, when I pick up the class from lunch, I hear, "Julio punched me, Julio kicked me, Julio spilled milk on me."

Mom promises she's looking into getting him counseling. But in the meantime, I can't hold my breath.


Ms. Peace said...

Childhood can be a scary place.

Anonymous said...

This child seems very, very troubled. Please keep in mind that you are a mandated reported for child abuse. If you have inklings that this child is being abused, you are legally required to report it. Pants-wetting can be a sign of abuse, and combined with the other violent behavior and talk, it's certainly a possibility. The report is anonymous; you do NOT need to ask your principal for permission, although I believe you might notify him/her.

What is your school's guidance counselor or psychologist doing for this child? Has he been presented at a PPT meeting? This seems like an urgent case.

Good luck.